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HindustanTimes Sat,29 Nov 2014

Increase in toll tax on NH a swindle: ATFI

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Ambala, September 02, 2014
First Published: 21:21 IST(2/9/2014) | Last Updated: 21:22 IST(2/9/2014)

The Anti-Terrorist Front of India (ATFI) on Tuesday said without completing the six-laning work on Amritsar-Delhi highway further increase in toll tax is tantamount to fraud against people. 

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In a press release, ATFI president Viresh Shandilya said the work had been held up for the past six years and the construction company did not adhere to several deadlines given by the Supreme Court. Despite this all, the National Highway Authority was busy collecting hefty toll tax.

Shandilya said he had sent representations to the union road and surface transport minister Nitin Gadkari and his deputy Krishan Pal Gujar pointing out that eight toll plazas on the 450-km stretch were too many and motorists are coerced to shell out huge amount for just one-way journey.

He said he had urged the government to shelve the toll collections till the six-laning work is not completed.

The ATFI president said the collection of taxes without facilities amounted to cheating the people.

He said due to stopping the work several fatal accidents had taken place on the national highway-1 which runs through Ambala Cantonment and Ambala city and thousands of workers and students daily use this road which has been closed at several points.

He claimed that adding to the residents' woes the railways have also closed the Model Town bridge which was the only link between Ambala Cantonment and city. The residents, he said, had been forced to take long route jeopardising their safety.

In the memorandum to the ministers, they have urged for ensuring the completion of six laning of the work before the onset of winters as several precious lives are lost every year due to fog and the absence of neon light signs on the road.

Shandilya claimed he had also filed a public interest litigation (PIL) on the issue in 2011 which was pending in the high court.

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